The Loop Newspaper - Tehachapi's Online Community News & Entertainment Guide

By Pat Doody
Welcome Hostess 

Meet Your New Neighbors

Hilltop Welcoming Service


At the end of February, Robert Stevens arrived in Tehachapi from Sunnyvale, Calif. to begin his new job as Nondestructive Engineer with The Spaceship Company in Mojave. Basically, his job will be to test metals and other materials for defects and weaknesses.

For the last six and a half years, Robert worked for Northrup Grumman Marine Systems in Sunnyvale. He had grown tired of commuting and the Bay area traffic. He said he was starting to think about retiring. Then he heard through a Facebook friend that The Spaceship Company was looking for an NDT, so he applied for the position and was called for an interview. He added that it was his kids who first got him to sign up for Facebook so that he could follow their travels. He would have never heard about the position otherwise.

Robert was born and raised in Tucson, Ariz. His mother still lives there and he tries to visit her once a month. As a young man he worked underground as a drift and crosscut miner for the San Manuel Mine in Tucson. He moved to California in 1974 and was a sheet metal worker and air conditioning mechanic. He said that he worked at Mare Island in the San Francisco Bay area for about a year before going to work for United Airlines. He spent 35 years with United working swing shift. While there, he received his Air Frame and Power Plant licenses and his inspection certification. He added his NDT certification in 1994. Most of this time, he commuted from his home in Vacaville.

Robert has two daughters. His oldest, Chani, is married and lives in Vacaville. She is Mom to Robert’s four year old granddaughter and two year old grandson. His younger daughter, Robyn, lives in Mountain View and is an Olympic level race walker. Although she was injured for the Rio Olympics this year, she expects to be back in action soon and Dad will be there to cheer her on. She currently is in the top 100 race walkers in the country and the top 10 in California.

In his free time, Robert likes organic gardening, SciFi books and his motorcycle. The afternoon of our visit, he hopped on his motorcycle and headed down to see the Tehachapi Loop.

Welcome to Tehachapi, Robert!

Marjorie Harrison Brunkalla says that she has come home. She moved here in January from Azusa. She was born in Tehachapi in 1958 but moved away when she was eight. She was in the second grade at what now are the Wells Education Center and the TUSD District Offices. She added that she really didn’t want to leave Tehachapi.

Marjorie said that while her family came from Oklahoma, when they lived here, they lived on Grand Oaks Ranch which was west of town. Her father worked for Cal Portland Cement. She had a sister and four brothers and she was the youngest. She said that her brothers were tough and protected her so she got away with a lot of naughty stuff. She showed me an article from the local paper telling of her brother Bill being burned over 33% of his body at the age of six and a doctor coming from Germany to treat him at Tehachapi Hospital. Her parents had to sell their home to cover the treatment expenses. Her brother Lonni played basketball at Tehachapi High School and was known as “Stove Pipe” Harrison. The kids like many in Tehachapi, made money in the summer by picking pears and being paid by the bucket.

Her father went to cutlery school and opened a butcher shop in Oildale. The family eventually moved on to Washington, Paso Robles and then the Los Angeles area. She met her husband in Covina. Her children are what she calls “Irish twins” meaning that they are less than a year apart in age. Marjorie raised them as a single mom. She worked as a welder for 15 years and holds four certifications. She retired in 2010. An unusual occupation for a woman, Marjorie said that she learned from a friend who said she was “a natural”.

She has a daughter, Bobbi Jo and a son, Donovan. Bobbi Jo holds a master’s degree in Environmental Science. She met and married a man she met in England. The wedding was held in England and Marjorie said she had the time of her life on that trip.

Her company at home these days is a Chihuahua name Prissy, short for Priscilla Marie Presley.

Marjorie, we are delighted you have come back home. Welcome.


If you have moved to the Greater Tehachapi Area within the last six months and would like to know more about your new community, call (661) 822-8188. We will be happy to make an appointment for a hostess to come by and give you lots of helpful information, some valuable coupons, gifts and much more. Many families and individuals who come to the area are pleasantly surprised with the amount of knowledge they gather about their new home. Publishing your welcome article is completely voluntary and is not a requirement of being welcomed.


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